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Chartered trains help Chinese honor ancestors

Updated: 2016-04-04 15:55:07

( Xinhua )

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A ceremony is held to honor Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, at the Mausoleum of Huangdi in Huangling county of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, April 4, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chartered train service began for the first time between Xi'an, capital of West China's Shaanxi province, to the Mausoleum of Huangdi in Huangling county, to facilitate travel to honor the legendary ancestor of the Chinese people.

The twice daily shuttle service will operate between April 1 and 4 on the high-speed rail line in time for China's Qingming Festival, or Tomb-Sweeping Day, when tens of thousands of Chinese pay homage to their ancestors and the founder of Chinese civilization.

An elaborate ceremony is held every year during Qingming Festival at the mausoleum of Huangdi, or the "Yellow Emperor," who according to legend reigned nearly 5,000 years ago and is regarded as the ancestor of all Chinese people. The tradition has been observed for thousands of years.

The mausoleum boasts ancient cypress groves, with more than 30,000 trees aged 1,000 years or more.

One 5,000-old cypress tree at Xuanyuan Temple near the mausoleum is 20 meters high and is said to have been planted by the legendary ancestor.

The trip to Huangling county is a 2 hour and 20 minute ride from Xi'an, while the train trip takes only half the time.

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